How Does The Grey Elephant From Denmark Trick Work? (Trick Revealed)

How Does The Grey Elephant From Denmark Trick Work - Trick Revealed

Whilst Denmark doesn’t have grey elephants (or kangaroos), if you try this trick most people guess a grey elephant in Denmark

Becoming a mentalist could start out with the simplest of tricks, like the grey elephant in Denmark or similar (like ‘kangaroos in Denmark eating oranges trick,’ see below). A large part of being a mentalist, is in having confidence in front of an audience.


How does the grey elephant from Denmark trick work? It works using simple maths and the law of probability. The maths part begins by asking your volunteer to choose a number between 1 and 10. The maths part of this mind trick is simple and works every time. The rest of the trick relies on probability. This simple mind trick is about building confidence in your journey to become a mind reader and a mentalist.

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Grey elephants from Denmark trick

Mind tricks like grey elephant in Denmark

Mind tricks like 'grey elephants in Denmark' is a simple trick that you can do with any audience you choose. It's very easy to do, even with one of your friends.

Is the grey elephant in Denmark trick a mentalism trick? I would say yes it is. In this case you are creating a simple mind reading illusion to your audience.

Starting out with a simple trick like this is what helps you to build confidence. This could be your beginning to mastering mentalism.

How does the grey elephant Denmark trick work?

How does the mind trick like grey elephant in Denmark work

The grey elephant Denmark trick begins by first choosing your audience.

Your audience can be a single friend or a group of people at a party. But if it's a group of people, choose just one person. Or ask for a volunteer to do the trick with you.

Step #1 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Now, ask that volunteer to think of a number between 1 and 10.

Step #2 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to multiply their chosen number by 9.

Step #3 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to add the two digits in the resulting number together.

So for example, if their first number they chose was 5; they'd multiply this by 9, which would result in 45. The two digits are '4' and '5', added together make 9.

What if your volunteer chooses the number one?

If your volunteer chooses one, this isn't a problem either. Let me explain.

1 multiplied by 9, equals 9. As there aren't two numbers to add together, simply use the resulting 9 instead.

Next step in the elephant in Denmark trick...

Step #4 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to subtract 5 from their number.

Which in the above two examples were both 9 (in fact the first stage of the elephant in Denmark trick always equals 9!)

This will then always equal 4. So no matter what the original number they chose between 1 and 10 was, their final answer will always be 4.

This is a maths quirk, don't try to work in out...it just is the way it is.

The next stage in the grey elephant in Denmark is to involve the alphabet...

So your audience volunteer has the number 4 in their head at this stage.

Step #5 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Now ask your volunteer to assign each letter of the alphabet a number.

Starting from A, which would be a 1, B a 2, C a 3, and so on.

Step #6 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Ask them to stop when they reach the letter in the alphabet corresponding with the number they arrived at in the first part of this trick.

You already know this will be the number 4, which will represent the letter 'D.'

Now you are part of the way there to arriving at the 'Denmark' part of grey elephants in Denmark...

As you already know, the letter they have in their head is a 'D.' You also know that there are very few countries that begin with the letter 'D'. The next part will look like you’re a mind reader.

Step #7 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Now ask them to think of a country that begins with their letter.

Remembering that everyone’s letter is 'D.' And also as already noted, there aren’t many countries that start with 'D.' This means that most people will choose Denmark.

Try it now...try to think of other countries beginning with the letter 'D.'

How many could you think of? See below for three other countries that begin with the letter 'D.' But before you look, try yourself to think of at least one first.

After they've chosen Denmark, next is the grey elephant

Step #8 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Now ask your volunteer to think of an animal using the very next letter in the alphabet.

As the previous letter they chose will always be the letter 'D,' the next letter will always be the letter 'E.'

Given the letter 'E' and given the popularity of elephants and the most commonly thought of animal out of the list shown below, most people choose elephants.

To add a bit more to this simple trick, add the next step:

Step #9 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to think of the colour of the animal they chose. Assuming they choose an elephant, this will of course be grey.

The elephant in Denmark mind trick is now done, so you are ready to reveal what they are thinking

Step #10 of the grey elephant Denmark trick: Finally, as if you're reading their mind. guess out loud that they’re thinking of grey elephants from Denmark.

Amazingly simple and easy to do.?

But how doe does the grey elephant from Denmark trick work

With this mentalism trick or mind reading trick, it’s a probability game.

The maths part is a certainty, it just works. But the choice of either Denmark or an elephant are playing with probabilities. They could choose something else, but mostly they don't.

With the country and the letter 'D,' there's less of a probability they'll choose one of the other countries. Unless they've recently been to one of those countries.

Whereas with an elephant, the probabilities are higher stakes. As there are more animals beginning with the letter 'E.'

Give it a go. If it works, you will gain confidence.

If it fails on some, on most it will work. However, you will likely get the country right in most cases, even if it ends up being a grey squirrel from Denmark, your volunteer will still be intrigued.

Countries That Start With The Letter D

There are very few countries that start with the the letter ‘D.’

The following country names begin with the letter D:

  • Denmark - which is hopefully what your volunteer will choseal. The name comes from the country's original inhabitants, called the Danes.
  • Djibouti - Djibouti has been inhabited for over 3,500 years. It became a republic in 1977. Djibouti is largely a desert. 
  • Dominica - Dominica borders the Caribbean Sea and is a very small island of only 290 square miles. Dominica Latin word meaning the place where God resides .
  • Dominican Republic - The Dominican Republic neighbors the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean. At 18,704 square miles, it is the largest of the countries that begin with D. The Dominican Republic has a population of 10,800,000 people who largely speak Spanish.

So when I asked you to think of other countries that begin with the letter D, did you think of any of the above?

Animals beginning with e

Unlike Denmark, there are plenty of animals beginning with 'E.'

Of course this list does include our elephant, but it also includes the eagle, an earwig, an echidna, an elephant seal and an emu.

Talking about emus, which come from Australia, what about how 'there are are no orange kangaroos in Denmark trick?'

There are no orange kangaroos in Denmark trick

If you want to add another twist to the grey elephant from Denmark trick, how about 'there are no orange kangaroos in Denmark trick.'

Although I prefer to change this to 'there are no kangaroos in Denmark that eat oranges.' But you can finish this similar mind trick off how you prefer.

The beginning of the no kangaroos in Denmark trick is the same as the no grey elephants in Denmark trick above.

So using the maths result from steps one through four above, which will have the same result of the number four too. Apply the number four to steps five to seven from the grey elephant Denmark trick too.

Your volunteer will hopefully choose Denmark as before.

You are now ready to finish off there are no orange eating kangaroos in Denmark trick also.

Replace step #8 above with the following step:

Revised step #8 of the no kangaroos in Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to remember the last letter of the country they chose.

Which in this case is the letter 'K,' Well one hopes so!

Step #9 of the no kangaroos in Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to think of an animal that starts with this last letter.

Animals starting with the letter 'K' include the likes of a kingfisher, a kiwi, a koala and a Komodo dragon, but the odds are stacked in your favour, as most people select 'Kangaroo' instead.

Step #10 of the no kangaroos in Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to remember the last letter of the word spelling the animal they chose.

You know that if they've hopefully picked a kangaroo, this is an 'O.'

Step #11 of the no kangaroos in Denmark trick: Ask your volunteer to think of a fruit that begins with this letter.

Fruit that begins with the letter 'O' are few and include olives and the Oregon grape, but in reality the only contender is an 'orange.'

The Denmark kangaroo and orange trick is cracked!

You are ready to reveal they are either thinking of an orange kangaroo in Denmark or a Kangaroo in Denmark eating an Orange

As with the grey elephants in Denmark trick, the first part of either there are no orange kangaroos in Denmark trick or kangaroos in Denmark eating oranges trick both rely on simple math.

With the math part of this mind trick, the result will always be the same, i.e. the number '4.'

However, thereafter it's all about probability. Denmark is a pretty high probability, especially for those that live in and around Europe.

But for those of you that live in the Caribbean, the odds are possibly stacked against you. As your volunteers are more likely to think of Dominica or The Dominican Republic. You can always adapt your trick accordingly if this is what tends to happen.

If you chose the kangaroo eating oranges in Denmark version of this trick over the grey elephants in Denmark, the probabilities of a kangaroo over an elephant are similar. But assuming they choose a kangaroo, your volunteer choosing an orange is stacked well in your favour.

I prefer the reveal to tell your volunteer that they were thinking about a kangaroo in Denmark eating an orange. But you could alter this and reveal that they were thinking of an orange kangaroo in Denmark instead. Either example works.

But both these mind tricks are a bit of fun. They help you to gain confidence working with an audience. And hey, you have to start somewhere.

Learn to become a mentalist yourself

If you would like to learn how to do amazing mentalist tricks that will make your friend’s jaw drop, look at the Master Mentalism course.

Master Mentalism is an in-depth course that will show you the secrets behind most of the popular mentalist magic tricks there are.

In just a short time after learning from Master Mentalism you will know exactly how mentalists do what they do!

For a ridiculously small investment on your part you will be learning some fantastic mentalism and magic skills. These skills will not only make you the life of a party, but they will set you on your way to become the next famous mentalist!

I hope you enjoyed this article about how does the grey elephant from Denmark trick work

I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your journey to become a performing mentalist or magician (or both). Please comment below. Please also share your experiences, both good and bad.!

If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about mentalism or magic, I will try to answer them (or specifically about how does the grey elephant from Denmark trick work), please comment below with your questions.

There will also be many more articles about mentalism for you to read and learn about this fantastic skill.

Have fun and enjoy your journey to become mentalist!

How Does The Grey Elephant From Denmark Trick Work? (Trick Revealed)

2 thoughts on “How Does The Grey Elephant From Denmark Trick Work? (Trick Revealed)

  1. Thank you for explaining the grey elephant in Denmark trick. I had figured out the first part but not the rest. I enjoyed the article.

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